Thus said the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you: and I will preserve you…
I. WHAT THIS COVENANT TOUCHING MAN'S REDEMPTION IS. A covenant, in the general acceptation of the word, is an agreement between two parties in any thing, or end, upon certain articles or conditions, which both freely consent to. "The covenant of grace," or "of redemption," is an eternal transaction between the Father and Christ; a consultation and agreement between these two glorious Persons, how man should be saved out of the ruins of the fall, in a way becoming God (Zechariah 6:13).
II. SUCH A COVENANT HATH PASSED BETWEEN THE FATHER AND THE SON BEFORE ALL WORLDS.
1. There were terms made, or work demanded of the Mediator.
(1) That Christ should take the name of His covenant-people upon Himself, and become their representing Head.
(2) That He should become man.
(3) In this body Christ was to fulfil God's whole law.
(4) That Christ should seal all His obedience with His blood.
2. There were -promises given. Christ thus firmly and freely consenting, and binding Himself to perform these terms and conditions, the Father makes promises to Him.
(1) That He would fit Christ for His work (Isaiah 11:1, 2; John 3:34).
(2) To assist Christ in His work (Psalm 89:21, 22).
(3) To carry Christ safely and honourably through His work (Isaiah 42:1, 4; Psalm 89:26).
(4) The Father promised Christ "a seed to serve Him"; and great glory after this His work was ended (Isaiah 53:10).
3. There were mutual trusts which the glorious parties reposed in each other.
III. WHO ARE THE PEOPLE FOR WHOM CHRIST WAS GIVEN AS A COVENANT.
1. Such as are brought to seek happiness and life purely upon the footing of this covenant.
2. The messenger of the covenant is their delight (Malachi 3:1).
3. Such as have the Spirit of the covenant in their hearts. Wherever the Spirit is given, He comes as a Spirit of grace and supplication. He is a Spirit of liberty. A Spirit of holiness.
IV. WHAT ARE THE BLESSINGS REDOUNDING TO THE PEOPLE BY THIS COVENANT?
1. Their calling is secured.
2. All grace is treasured up for them.
3. Fellowship and communion with God,
4. Eternal life is given (Titus 1:2).
V. USES BY WAY OF DOCTRINE AND PRACTICE.
1. Christ and His seed are comprehended in one and the same covenant.
2. That which is a covenant of grace to us, is a covenant of works to Christ.
3. We learn the meaning of those phrases wherein God is said to make "a covenant" with man.
4. We see the ground of the salvation of Old Testament saints. They were justified and saved upon the foot of this covenant.
5. The substance of the covenant was the same, under both testaments; only the dispensation of it varies. The covenant made with Abraham, Jacob, David, &c., was a covenant, not of works, but of grace.
6. Why Christ is called the "covenant" of His people. It is because He is all in all in this covenant. Practical uses —
(1) Admire the love and grace of this covenant.
(2) Look more at Christ in every covenant-blessing.
(3) This may be improved for the believer's comfort, whatever his wants are; it is a sure covenant, an ordered covenant, a full covenant; Christ is thy covenant, therefore in all thy dangers, weaknesses, snares, thou art safe; in all thy wants thou art provided for; in all thy fears thou art prevented.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
WEB: Thus says Yahweh, "In an acceptable time have I answered you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you; and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to raise up the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritage: